An Additional Project
Entertainment news media have noted a trend in the types of movies Hollywood is currently producing. Even as original films are invariable winning the majority of Academy Awards, anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more sequels are being produced every year with a corresponding increase in resources to match. Open up a current movie listing guide or look at the anticipated line up of summer blockbusters to validate this idea for yourself.
I was interested in exploring several questions related to original movies compared to sequels. Is there a trend in the number of originals and sequels being produced. Do the budgets reflect this relationship? Is either category more profitable? Are audiences rating the two categories any differently over time? Are the critics?
We worked with a data set provided by the site Information is Beautiful. This set covers every major Hollywood film from 2007 to 2011. To address the questions above, we added a “Sequel Status” column to each year that defined each movie as being an original or a sequel. After exploring the data in Tableau we determined that a standard line chart that plotted the binomial variables (original and sequel) across time (years) and allowing users to interact with continuous variables (e.g., budget, profitability) was the optimal approach.
Visualizing the Data
The data reveals some interesting points. Investment in sequels has been steadily increasing. Revenue has followed a similar trend, but profitability hasn't (note: an outlier in the data set makes this difficult to see).
Surprisingly, although originals seem to be a better overall investment per dollar spent the audience unanimously prefers sequels. Critics also appear to rate sequels approximately on par with originals. It’s possible that audiences have been pushing studios through both reviews and the box office to invest in more sequels.